Mitsubishi Parts 101: Alternator

December 14th, 2021 by

What does an alternator do?

The service center here at Ole Ben Franklin Motors is well-equipped enough to handle all of your maintenance needs, and that includes care for your alternator. This is a crucial part in your vehicle, and if you’ve ever wondered “What does an alternator do?” we would be happy to help you out! We can also tell you which mechanical problems are a sign of alternator trouble.

What an Alternator Does

The alternator helps provide power to important systems while your car is running. Your battery provides the electricity needed to start up your vehicle and these systems, while the alternator keeps supplying power to the headlights, power windows, windshield wipers, and radio as you drive. This part is even responsible for delivering power to your heated seats, if your car offers them.


Your alternator turns mechanical energy created by your vehicle into electrical energy. The engine in your car powers a drive belt that rests on a pulley. This pulley turns the rotor shaft of the alternator, which is outfitted with multiple magnets. These magnets spin and create alternating current, or AC, and channels it into a component called a rectifier. This part converts this AC into direct current, or DC power, that can properly power all of the electrical systems in your car and keep your battery charged.

Signs of an Alternator Problem

Most alternators last for the entire lifespan of a vehicle, but there is a chance that your alternator will eventually need service. Some obvious signs that it’s time to visit the Mitsubishi service center include burning smells, strange whining or growling noises, and inconsistent voltage that results in headlights that are too dim or too bright. A dead battery can also be a sign of alternator trouble, if a problem with the battery itself is ruled out.

If you have any other questions about Mitsubishi parts or proper car care, visit one of our service center locations near Alcoa, TN. Our skilled mechanics are ready to assist you!

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